3 recent first-round draft picks Yankees definitely wish they could do over
By Adam Weinrib
2. Blake Rutherford over Gavin Lux and Co., 2016
The Yankees selected trade bait Blake Rutherford instead of Gavin Lux and some pitchers who could’ve helped them.
Did the Yankees get the most they could’ve out of prep outfielder Blake Rutherford? Probably. Rutherford was traded in the David Robertson/Todd Frazier deal, and has never really developed the power the Yanks foresaw for him, hitting only seven homers apiece the past few years.
Kudos to Brian Cashman for parting with Rutherford when he could, who’s very much blocked by Luis Robert and Co. in Chicago.
But what if he didn’t have to simply be trade bait? What if he could’ve been, say, Gavin Lux, selected by the Dodgers with the 20th overall pick in 2016, two choices after the Yankees opted for Rutherford. Imagine if the team in the Bronx was the one looking for playing time for Lux instead of the LAD! What an interesting conundrum that’d be!
Of course, a few slots down, there were even more impact players, if you want to dig deeper. We’re looking at picks 32-34: Dodgers World Series hero Will Smith, Cardinals top prospect Dylan Carlson, and Cardinals mid-rotation starter Dakota Hudson.
Was drafting and trading Rutherford the right call? Probably not.